Nats come to terms with top pick Strasburg
Deal with Golden Spikes winner likely for record figure
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2009 First-Year Player Draft coverage
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
08/18/09 12:17 AM ET
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals agreed to terms with right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, before Monday's midnight ET deadline.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to MLB Network and multiple reports it's a four-year contract worth more than $15 million. That exceeds the previous record, the $10.5 million right-hander Mark Prior received from the Cubs after the 2001 Draft.
Strasburg is expected to be introduced at Nationals Park either Wednesday or Thursday.
The Nationals feel strongly that Strasburg can make an immediate impact in their rotation, maybe joining the team's Major League roster sometime in September.
If he is promoted to the big leagues this season, Strasburg will become only the third pitcher in baseball history to be drafted No. 1 and play in the Majors in the same year, joining Rangers left-hander David Clyde in 1973 and Orioles right-hander Ben McDonald in '89.
Strasburg, 20, went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State University en route to being named the Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 batters and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings.
"This kid is so impressive. We have nothing but the highest regard for him. If he wants to come and begin his career right now -- and do so with the largest contract ever given to any drafted player in the history of Major League Baseball -- we can help him accomplish that," Team president Stan Kasten told the AP on Saturday.
"We think he's not just a Draft pick -- we think he's a special player, which is why we extended ourselves as much as we did."